SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– This year Missouri State is celebrating a full month of women’s history.
Today at 12:30 p.m. students, staff and faculty can log onto Zoom for a discussion about men being allies to women. On Wednesday, another Zoom chat will talk about how important it is for under-represented students to be themselves.
Being a new employee at Missouri State, LaShata Grayson continues to learn more about campus every day.
“Been here for a little over six months and just been enwrapped in the culture,” Grayson said. “First-generation college student, that was one of the things I related to, having trio support services here, seeing a lot of women that look like me.”
Trio programs help underrepresented students succeed in college.
“When you come from a background, you’re first-gen, you don’t know how to navigate different spaces at a predominantly white institution, it kind of makes me want to connect with them and want to help them too,” Grayson said.
Her efforts continue on Wednesday, March 10th — when she’ll host a Zoom event called “showing up unapologetically.”
“It’s this notion of regretting,” Grayson said. “I don’t want students to feel like they have to regret who they are. I want you to come up into a space and wear your natural hair, wear different hairstyles or even being comfortable with your own sexual identity and preference. You can still be, clearly, a Vice President, and show up as yourself.”
Gender studies professor Dr. Erin Kenny says this March, MSU will hope to make Women’s History Month more welcoming.
“The whole idea is that we’re all gendered, and so we all bring a piece to this conversation,” Kenny said. “We actually call it Women’s ‘HerStory’ Month here. It’s just a way of being a bit more playful with language and trying to embrace as many people. Make the tent bigger and be inclusive. ”
Half of the university’s events will be held on Zoom.
“It’s hard to get a group of people together,” Kenny said. “We’re trying to get people involved to the degree that we’re able. We’re really hopeful that Women’s History Month 2022 will just be all out. All out in person, yeah.”
Also happening this month will be a couple of interactive sessions about gender. The Plaster Student Union theater will also show the movie “A League of Their Own.”